Many of us have the aim and target of fat loss while riding our bike and getting ready for our events – especially those coming up in the summer –. What is interesting is that having a calorie deficit from exercise, non-exercise activity and nutrition is important, no, paramount in achieving this optimally. But are there other things that can contribute?
I present sleep!
Some great recent research looking at sleep and comparing 8.5hours to 5.5 hours of sleep on fat loss, muscle loss and metabolic markers.
Fat loss; 1.4 vs. 0.6 kg with 8.5 vs. 5.5 hours of sleep
Fat-free body mass loss; 1.5 vs. 2.4 kg with 8.5 vs. 5.5 hours of sleep
So, the low sleep group lost more muscle mass and less fat. They also saw a neuroendocrine adaptation to caloric restriction (slowing of metabolism), increased hunger, and a shift in relative energy use towards less fat.
This was done with non-exercising individuals; they didn’t monitor protein intake only calories and they didn’t exercise.
But the information we can take from this is huge! It shows that poor sleep habits in relation to a calorie deficit negatively impacts us in a magnitude of ways; less fat lost, more muscle lost, increase hunger and slowing of metabolism.
All the things you don’t want!
My advice would be prioritising that sleep more! Eat higher protein, keep active on your bike will all aid fat loss and reduce muscle loss!